You’re busy planning your wedding but are you planning your future? Financial expert Doug Myers joined the podcast crew for this episode to share his best guidance for helping couples plan their financial future… and it needs to start way before the wedding! Being on the same page financially with your partner will be a crucial component to its success. Not sure where to begin with that conversation? Tune into this episode to hear how to prepare for life after the wedding and set yourself up for financial success.
Doug Myers is a 20-year veteran licensed Financial Advisor, Indiana licensed Life & Health Insurance agent, certified Fitness Trainer, and a licensed Indiana Realtor. Doug’s experiences include working for three Institutional Money Managers, two Mutual Fund companies as a Managing Director, VP for several Asset Management companies, two Fitness Gyms and as an entrepreneur. Doug has served as a middle school basketball coach, written, and published two books: Gut-Check, Serving God on Your Financial Journey and Pivot-Point, The Beginning of Your Financial Journey for Teens. He is also the founder of a non-profit organization called Greener Than Money.
• [2:50] Doug speaks about where to start with planning your future together… before planning the wedding.
• [06:00] “One of the number one reasons people get a divorce is because of finances.”
• [07:43] Doug explains how to have the hard conversations with your betrothed on when and where money should be spent…
• [11:35] “The time value of money is very important because you got to let your money work for you…”
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Sharon Rumsey 0:00
So you're busy planning your wedding. But are you also planning your future? Are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to finances?
Kristina Stubblefield 0:08
Financial expert Doug Meyers has been helping couples plan their financial futures for years. And now he is sharing his best guidance with all of us in this episode.
You're listening to The Ring The Bling And All The Things Podcast. I'm Kristina Stubblefield, one of your hosts, along with my two good friends, Michael Gaddie and Sharon Rumsey. We are here to get you from down on one knee down the aisle into happily ever after our informative episodes, deliver valuable tips, trends, ideas, and advice covering everything from you saying yes to the i do's and all that happens in between and after. Now, let's get started with this episode.
Mike and Sharon, I know we have talked about financial items in the past. But I'm really excited about our guest that's here with us today, Doug Meyers. And I would consider Doug like a financial guru. I'm gonna let him introduce himself. Doug, thank you for being with us. Would you share a little bit about yourself with our audience?
Doug Myers 1:23
Hi, thanks. Thanks, Kristina. Yeah, I'm the CEO of Game Nights Incorporated. I'm also an author of two financial books, and a retired financial advisor. And it's just nice for you to have me talk today.
Kristina Stubblefield 1:38
Sharon, do you want to kick this off? I know there's so much that we talk about in regards to budgets, with wedding planning. But financial, when you're going into married life, is something that is going to set you up for your future.
Sharon Rumsey 1:55
Sure, Mike, I am a really good wedding planner, by the way, nice to meet you. But when my couples asked me advice about I am a really good wedding planner. I don't know what I should know about financial things is what I'm saying. So when my couples asked me for wedding advice, I'm comfortable. But when they start asking me what they should do to prepare for life after their wedding, that's where I feel like I fail sometimes. So if a young couple came to you and said, What should we do to set ourselves up for financial success? What would be your top? I don't know, five tips.
Kristina Stubblefield 2:34
Wow, Sharon just comes out of the box with a great question. Right, Mike?
Michael Gaddie 2:38
Sharon Rumsey 2:39
Well, I mean, it happens all the time. They think that since I can plan their wedding, I can plan their future, but I can't.
Kristina Stubblefield 2:44
Well, Doug, I know, I'm sure you've got plenty of answers for that. So where do you want to start?
Doug Myers 2:50
You know, I think the first thing that you should start with is making sure that you and your partner are on the same page. You know, everybody has great ideas. And it's not to say that one's wrong or one's right. But really, it comes down to a couple, making big decisions together. And being on the same page makes that marriage so much stronger. And some of the things that you have to really decide on is, you know, the wedding, the wedding is a very big expense. And a lot of people believe in just going at it and using credit cards to pay for it. So my biggest thing for people that are getting married is don't get don't rush the marriage, you love each other already. It's going to happen, but really plan and maybe budget and save the money. So you can do it right. But don't go into that big financial gap right at the beginning because it's just a it's a big hole and we call it a money pit. But it's it's a it's a credit card debt hole. And a lot of couples get into it early. And the problem with that is a credit card problem is extremely difficult for even older adults to get out of. So to brand new people getting married, being young in their careers. The last thing they want to do is be biting over the credit card because it's a huge hole to get into. You also want to make sure that they you understand debt versus no debt. A lot of a lot of people will have a conception that you got to use your money to make money, but there's also this thing called stress that goes with it. And some people believe in racking up debt to do bigger things with to make better financial decisions with but some people believe that they would rather try to go debt free and not collect a lot of debt. So if your partner sees it the opposite way that you do sometimes that can cause a lot arguments, a lot of fighting a lot of stress. And it's something that will carry with you for a very long time. And it'll put a lot of strain on that marriage.
Kristina Stubblefield 5:09
If I could say something here, you had mentioned this to me when we talked before recording this episode, would you share about your analogy? In regards to being on the same page?
Doug Myers 5:24
Yeah, you know, a lot of people don't realize that being on the same page is such an important thing in your life. They, they think about how attracted they are to the person, what their religious beliefs are, I like to compare, being on the same page financially is like being in the same page in the bedroom. If you're not on the same page in the bedroom, it's not good for your relationship, if you're not on the same page. From a financial standpoint, it's not going to be good for your relationship, either. So those things have to be taken very seriously. Because one of the number one reasons people get a divorce is because of finances.
Kristina Stubblefield 6:06
Wow. I mean, that's Sharon, we talk a lot about having a conversation about the budget with your wedding planning. And I hear some of the same sentiments in what he's saying about that communication piece.
Sharon Rumsey 6:22
Absolutely. That's what I take from what he's saying is that communication is so important. And I know a lot of the couples that I've met with along the way, they don't talk about these things till after they're married.
Kristina Stubblefield 6:37
And it may be even until an issue comes up, or a major event happens that they're forced to talk about it.
Michael Gaddie 6:45
Let me ask you, Doug, I mean, for a newly engaged couple that just got married. I mean, this is a crazy question. But what in a realistic life? What should me and my partner, think about first, purchasing a home? Saving money putting money back weekly? Where do I Where do they begin?
Doug Myers 7:11
Well, I think they begin before before you get married, you don't want to start the race, right? On the I do's, you want to make sure that you're on on target with each other. A long time, months, maybe even years before you get married a lot of engagements only last five or six months before they're married. Sometimes engagement is supposed to be for a longer period of time. So you know what it's like you should have that whole cycle that full year before you tie the knot. And what you do during that year, is make sure that you agree on how money is going to be spent. What what is a good way to spend money and what is a horrible way to spend money. You know, one might think, Hey, I love going to the movies. And it's very important to me, I like to go out and carry out dinner, I don't like to cook. The other one might be thinking, Hey, I like to cook and I like to stay home and I like to save money that way. And I really don't like movies. So I think that engagement period is really a period of time where you're testing to see what it's going to be like to be married. But during that time, you need to have a plan you need to put a plan together. And don't be in a rush to go buy a house. Everybody's in a rush to get a house. The better way to do that is try to find someplace for an affordable living, whether it be renting, whether it still be staying with mom and dad. I know mom and dads don't want to hear that. But you know, you have to do what you have to do to save money. And during that time. really find out what what does a perfect house look like? You know, is it location? What what do you want the kitchen to look like? What do you want the halls to look like? What do you want the flooring to look like? Do you want brick exterior or not brick exterior? Do what's the backyard going to look like? So, you know these are things that that potential brides and grooms together can make it really fun and be like, Okay, well let's, let's look at what our vision is and make sure that our vision matches up. Because the last thing you want to do is rushed into a home. And then you're not happy with that home and it becomes one of the worst decisions you've ever made. And most people once they get into their first home, they think about what they want their second home to be like so they're never really truly happy. They're always thinking about what's the next one going to look like. So what I would say is put a plan together, make sure you're spending money and the thing is spending money on the right things make making sure you're on the same page on what you're going to spend the money on, but also really digging into what what that house is going to look like and where it's going to be located at because I think people rush into it.
Kristina Stubblefield 10:01
Those are really good points because you're building a life together. I mean, that's exactly what you're doing.
Michael Gaddie 10:07
I just feel like that. I'll be honest with you, my wife and I've been married for 30, almost 34 years. And, you know, when we got married, we did not. We did not think about saving money, we did not think about investing money, or anything like that. And I'm trying to come out, I guess I'm trying to find an answer that for an engaged couple that's listening to this podcast, what should be the first thing we should do think about investing money? Or how do we go about doing that?
Doug Myers 10:41
Well, most most people at this stage in their lives don't have any money to save anyway, they're, you're rightly, you're usually extremely tight. So they don't have a lot of investments. The first thing that they should do, though, is figure out a way to start saving, or later, they have the time value of money on their hands. Most people, most individuals don't start saving money until they're about 32 or 33 years old. The average typical time timeframe for a retirement is about 30 to 35 years. And that's why that's why when you start at age 32, people start to talk about retiring from 62 to 67. Because that's 30 to 35 years, if you start to think about this at 21. With 30 years, you're starting to think about retirement at 51. So the time value of money is very important. Because you got to let your money work for you. You can't work for your money your entire life, you got to you got to let the hard part go on the money that you save, because it will work for you. It'll start to work hard for you. And that's how people, that's how people can retire early. If they're really diligent in it, then they can they can get in there really early and retire. But if they wait until their 30s, like most of us, you know, they're not going to retire until they're in their 60s or 70s.
Michael Gaddie 12:05
Yeah, you're exactly right. Because I mean, I did not even think about it until I was 30 years old. And I would give so much. I mean, I would just recommend for the younger people to think about this stuff early. And not think not wait till they're 30 or 35 years old like me, because I mean, I would just do something so much things so much different if I knew then what I know now.
Kristina Stubblefield 12:31
And that's why I wanted to bring this topic up. Because if we start the conversation, even if people don't take action from listening to this episode, they've already at least a SEEDS been planted, you know, because so many of us would go back and do things a little different when we've already been through it. Sure.
Sharon Rumsey 12:49
I know one of the things that I hear come up a lot as I'm meeting with couples and and I have two grown sons that are both married. When you're when you get engaged in someone or both parties are coming into the relationship with debt, student loans is one I hear all the time. Do you feel like the debt should all be paid off before they get married?
Doug Myers 13:17
No, I mean, I think that would almost be impossible unless mom and dad want to pay it off. I think really, the marriage shouldn't be decided on on the finances as far as how much do we have to pay off before we get married? I think what has to the decision has to be made is are we on the same page? And do we have a plan in place, and as long as you have a plan in place to pay that debt off, and that that might take it might take decades, it might take five years, it might take 10 years, it might take 15. But that's the same thing as when you buy a house house typically takes 30 years to pay off. So I don't think that that should defer a marriage just because you had the debt. I think what that should do is if you've got that debt, it's a bigger emergency to have a plan and sit down and really go through it. Make sure you're not missing anything. And I think that's why finding a good financial adviser that works with younger couples is very important. Because when you're trying to put that plan together by yourself, you're gonna forget a lot of things. There's a lot of things you haven't experienced yet. And you're, you're gonna find out the hard way and be like, Oh, you mean, I have to pay that huge vet bill because I have three dogs because I really wanted a dog. That's one of the things with newlyweds is they always want to have pets. And at that stage of life, you're very busy. You're new in your career. You're trying to develop yourself, you're working on your relationship you're wanting to get a house your expenses are a lot higher than what sometimes what you're making. The last thing that you need is more pets, more food, more vet bills. And then you always complain about, oh my gosh, I don't spend enough time with my pet my pets mad at me now you got stressed that you're taking into your marriage to hell,
Kristina Stubblefield 15:12
that's interesting take on that. I never thought about it like that.
Doug Myers 15:16
That's great as we get older, but you know, at the beginning, you've already got a lot of strikes against you, because you're new in your career. And what Mike was talking about earlier was about saving money early. The one thing that that young adults don't think about, is things do happen to them. You know, there's changes in life, jobs changing, you don't like what you do. So when you're working, you want to have a passion, and you want to enjoy and love what you do. And sometimes that takes time to find that. And maybe that first job is not the right one for you. Maybe it's the fourth job, but you just went through three changes. And it put a crunch on your income, you only had one income person during that time, maybe you get fired. Maybe you have a health issues, maybe you just had bad luck. So having that savings and trying to get as debt free as possible, is huge during that beginning, because you don't know what changes are going to come your way.
Kristina Stubblefield 16:17
So when you Okay, a segue into this, Doug, one of the things that Mike had mentioned, and I was trying to think in my mind, what is one of the ways that you suggest people save money, just as a general, I know it doesn't maybe apply to everyone. But do you encourage them to put X number of dollars or a percentage in the bank every month in a savings account, just a starter point,
Doug Myers 16:43
as a starting point, I believe you should have a savings account that you just don't touch unless you have to for an emergency. But according to your budget, you need to put it down as an expense. It's just an expense, it's $100 a month or $200 a month or $50 a month, but at least you look at it as an expense. So you're always paying it and all you're doing is hiding it from yourself. Once you start to do that, you'll learn to save money.
Kristina Stubblefield 17:14
Interesting. That's a good I never had heard it say treated as an expense.
Sharon Rumsey 17:20
The main thing that I'm getting from everything that he's been saying, though, and that's such good information, thank you so much is that communication is key. Be honest about where you are before you get married. I know that's one thing that I didn't do the first time I got married, and you know, I was single for quite some time and then remarried and did it the second time is, you know, be honest and open with each other what debts do you have? And like you said, make that game plan to take care of that. But what I hear it all boiling down to is communication.
Kristina Stubblefield 17:57
And we that comes up so much in what we talk about with wedding planning and life in general. Communication is so critical. And hearing Doug talk about it, it is especially in Financials.
Doug Myers 18:14
Yeah, think about think about sitting down and going over a budget in very detailed every month until you get your get your hands on it completely. When you're doing that you're gonna learn things about your partner that maybe you didn't pay attention to. Boy, we sure do spend a lot of money eating out. Boy, we sure do spend a lot of money on shoes. Boy, we sure do spend a lot of money on alcohol. Where where is that coming from the we see a potential problem right here at the beginning.
Kristina Stubblefield 18:45
to interject here. Don't forget about those coffee lovers out there. How much did you spend on coffee, Sharon? I mean, I'm not mentioning names.
Doug Myers 18:54
Yeah, coffee is huge. I mean, if you take those two glasses of Starbucks coffee, and you add those up over time, invest that into a sound. s&p 500 mutual fund. I bet you the numbers would be staggering. After 1015 2030 years.
Kristina Stubblefield 19:12
And I'm not just calling out Sharon, I have been as guilty of it, you know, oh, $5 here, $6 here. You know, it's, but like you just said if you do that twice a week, times 52 weeks in a year. Wow.
Sharon Rumsey 19:27
That's a lot. It's six or $7. Every time I go
Kristina Stubblefield 19:31
well in like you're mentioning eating out. I mean, let's be honest. That's our problem.
Sharon Rumsey 19:35
I mean, we eat out a lot. I mean, it's because we always have well, and I think couples today are so busy, that it's quicker and easier to eat out. But he's correct. It's a huge expense. Well, I'll
Kristina Stubblefield 19:47
share with you when Josh and I were dating. I ate out a lot. I'm not really a cook. I can fix a main breakfast now I can whip up some sausage and eggs But Josh, on the other hand, cooks, he very rarely ate out. It very rarely, maybe a special occasion. And that's just because he, that's how he was raised that way they aid in a lot. It wasn't, it was more of a treat to go out and eat. And he will say that that's one of the things when we were dating, that was an adjustment or for us to found balance. All I had to do was start liking his cooking, which that wasn't difficult. But in all honesty, what Doug mentioned, when you're trying to figure out, you know, is it a really good fit? That is one thing when we talk about eat? Now, I think a lot of other people go through that?
Michael Gaddie 20:45
Well, you know, and just by having this podcast and bring in the awareness of what Doug's talking about, to our couples or to our brides, I mean, I think it's so important, because I'll be honest with you, most younger people do not really think about what's the next day after the wedding when she has her Cinderella moment walking down the aisle and they're having their party, and then they go on their honeymoon on their honeymoon, and then they get back and then it's reality Reality
Sharon Rumsey 21:13
slaps them in the face, basically, a lot of times with weddings, they get so entrenched and wound up in the wedding planning process, that when I say hey, we're starting to go over budget, or we need to kind of reel some things in, they, they will say, I want it, we'll just put it on a card, you know, we'll just, we'll deal with it. We'll pay for it now and deal with it later. I hear that a lot.
Kristina Stubblefield 21:38
And Doug, one of the things too, that you will probably add in about credit cards is you're not actually paying that amount, you're actually end up paying quite a bit more for whatever it is you said yes to, it's a
Doug Myers 21:51
hole that you get into that you can't get out of. I mean, it just becomes bigger and bigger. And it compounds interest rates on credit cards are ridiculously high. They're anywhere between 12% all the way up to 28%. So you know, you think about that type of interest rate, you can't get out of a hole like that. So it's going to be something that stays with you for a really long time. And I'll tell you, the biggest problem that I've seen with newlyweds is they can't afford the house that they want right now. So they run out. And they get new cars, because new cars are a good supplement to just having that emotional cooldown where they just want to have something together, they just want something together so bad, they go out and they run and they get a car. But there's this thing called a new car blues and a new car blues means you get excited about it. But it only lasts for a month. After that month is over, then you get your first statement, and you see how much money you owe. And you know, you're gonna be paying on that for a really long time. So I would just advise newlyweds don't go out and buy new cars for your first your first little transaction together. Really think about it. Because if your car's in good shape, and it's still running, that's just like going out and eating and spending your money is going out, buy a new car, the one that you have is working. So run it into the ground and save your money and try to focus on that house instead of focusing on a new car. Because once you get those two new cars, your house is going to be a lot worse than what you're wanting, you're going to have to end up getting a lot smaller house. Very good point.
Kristina Stubblefield 23:33
Wow. Doug is there. I know you had some stuff? Did we cover the items that you thought were some of the most important?
Doug Myers 23:41
Oh, I think so. I think so. I mean, you know, people say don't, you know, don't go out and spend your money and eat out. But I'll tell you back in the 80s and the 90s. One of the things that we really did was we played games and in the kitchen and when you sit down and play games, and you can have people over and have fun with with family and friends instead of going out eating with them. And when you're playing games in the kitchen, guess what? You get to learn each other a lot better. You get more interaction with each other and you get to know your partner a lot better. Good and it doesn't. It doesn't cost anything. Good advice, too.
Kristina Stubblefield 24:22
Yeah, I think there's so many things that are not financial that in relate to food. You know, every celebration is a we go out, go out here. Oh, it's the weekend we go out here. That's a whole other conversation. But this has been really good was sharing some of this first steps. And, you know, I'm sure that there's other things that we can add in down the road. I think Doug is an excellent source of information jab with his background.
Michael Gaddie 24:51
Yes, very much.
Sharon Rumsey 24:52
Thank you so much.
Kristina Stubblefield 24:54
Thanks so much for anybody that wants to connect with you. We're gonna put that information in the show notes. So we'll get that. And no matter where you're listening to this podcast or on our website, you can get access to where you can connect with Doug. Thank you, Doug for your time. We really appreciate it. And hopefully we can visit this conversation again here in the future.
Doug Myers 25:21
That sounds good to me. Thank you.
Kristina Stubblefield 25:24
Thank you to all of our listeners. We appreciate you tuning in. We would love to hear your feedback, or what your takeaways are from this episode, you can always go to our website and hit the contact button. Until next time, everyone, stay safe.
Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The Ring The Bling And All The Things. If you liked what you heard, make sure to hit the subscribe or follow button on your favorite podcast platform to get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website, ringblingallthethings.com where you can join our email list and get notifications about new episodes and other information. You can also follow us on your favorite social media platforms.
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Graduated from Indiana University Southeast with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Finance from Kelly School of Business in 1998. His many career endeavors include being licensed as a Financial Advisor for over 20 years, Life & Health Insurance through the state of Indiana, Fitness Training certified and Real Estate License from the state of Indiana. Doug has also worked for (3) Institutional Money Managers, (2) Mutual Fund companies, as a Managing Director and VP for several Asset Management companies, (2) Fitness Gyms and as an entrepreneur in many roles. Doug also has been a middle school basketball coach, written and published two books (Gut-Check, serving God on your financial journey); (Pivot-Point, The beginning of your financial journey for teens), along with being the founder of a non-profit organization called Greener Than Money. In his spare time, Doug has also organized, drafted and subcontracted 7 homes.
Doug is the owner of Personal Journey LLC. There he provides Life Coaching and Divorce Settlement coaching. Passions include helping others through troubled times and being a boxer dog enthusiast. Doug is also a proud parent of one adult son. Currently, he is a member of Indianapolis Baptist Temple Church.